McQueary’s Story Changes

Andrew Sullivan —  Nov 15 2011 @ 2:22pm


An e-mail he sent to friends contradicts the grand jury testimony:

“I did the right thing…you guys know me…the truth is not out there fully…I didn’t just turn and run…I made sure it stopped…I had to make quick tough decisions.”

A reader adds:

If this is true, it means that McQueary both stopped the assault and then properly reported it to both the coach and the athletic director. (As an earlier reader noted, this is the proper process of notification in Pennsylvania, as opposed to going straight to the police). Again, if true, I believe this would demand a retraction of many of your awful smears upon McQueary. I’m sure that, like me, you’re also curious about the extent to which McQueary followed up on his initial reports (if at all), but can we not wait until he has had a chance to speak up for himself before we destroy a man’s good name? In what other situation would you say such things about a person based on a single piece of source material (in this case, the grand jury presentment)?

Good grief. If I cannot make a judgment based on the exhaustive findings of a Grand Jury investigation, then I can make a judgment on nothing.

But again, this is not about me being self-righteous or anything. It is not about being vain, as David Brooks preposterously asserts today, hiding behind a mound of social science so as to avoid a moral call. It’s about what was the right thing to do. And McQueary himself – by his new email – has now plainly agreed with me on what the right thing to do was. He now says he did it. The Grand Jury says he didn’t. The email was not under oath. I do not think it’s a smear to criticize an act of omission that was found as fact by a Grand Jury. And, frankly, I’m mystified by those seeking to exonerate anyone in this set of facts.

I don’t think I brag about how moral I am. I know I’m very often a sinner. And I am not judging McQueary’s conscience: that is between him and his Maker. But I am able as a blogger to say what I think is right and wrong, and to feel horrified by what has happened to so many children. My reaction is no different with Penn State, an institution I have no attachment to, than with my own Church, to which I am attached from baptism on.

This is not about my or anybody else’s vanity. It is not in the end about McQueary’s character. It is about a child’s dignity and body. And how it was trashed and raped, and how the man who did it went on to do it again and again and again to more and more children because some people failed to do what was plainly, easily, the right thing to do.

Meanwhile, Sandusky denies everything in this mesmerizing interview:

(Photo: Assistant coach Mike McQueary of the Penn State Nittany Lions smiles before the start of their game against the Minnesota Gophers at Beaver Stadium on October 17, 2009 in State College, Pennsylvania. By Chris Gardner/Getty Images)